‘Forgotten’: Bothell family says remote learning plan failing special needs child

VIDEO: Northshore parents say child with special needs forced into remote learning

BOTHELL, Wash. — A Bothell family said their special needs second-grader with cerebral palsy is not getting the support from the Northshore School District that’s needed for the 7-year-old to excel under his current remote learning plan and it’s impacting his ability to learn.

“We received the exact same communication for him as we received our typical child,” said Patrick Shepard, whose son Logan is enrolled at Frank Love Elementary School. “There was no additional support lent to him or us, no discussion about how can we set us and him up for success in remote learning, nothing at all.”

Shepard said Logan, who cannot talk or walk, has also not received therapy he’s entitled to as a special needs student that helped him excel in school last year.

Content Continues Below

“The therapy Logan has received at school has been paramount and just very important to his ability to learn how to communicate,” Shepard said. “We’ve seen that slow down and him not be able to communicate as much. It’s terrible to watch.”

The district had previously provided Logan speech, physical, occupational and vision therapies, Shepard said. The family said the school district recently committed to providing transportation for Logan, who started the new school year remotely last month, to attend two of his four therapy sessions in Seattle.

“Grateful it’s at least something to get him back going,” Shepard said.

The Northshore School District said in a statement to KIRO 7: “The District is committed to the health and safety of our students, staff, and families. We continue to work with all families of students receiving special education services. As each student’s needs are unique, our IEP and other staff teams are working directly with families to determine the best supports possible during these challenging times.”

“The forgotten children of COVID-19,” Shepard said. “It baffles my mind how we can just forget about them. It’s not a fair system. He’s not getting what he needs, and I know there’s a way to do this.”

The Northshore School District recently announced some students could move to a hybrid learning model later this month.